[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/03/27/art.chrisdodd.gi.jpg caption=" Dodd wants the Democratic race to end soon."]
(CNN) - Sen. Chris Dodd said Thursday a protracted Democratic presidential race would be "devastating" to the party, and argued an agreement should be worked out after the upcoming contests in Pennsylvania, Indiana, and North Carolina.
Dodd, a former presidential candidate and current backer of Barack Obama's White House bid, told the National Journal he thinks it’s a forgone conclusion Obama will be the Democratic presidential nominee, and said he thinks it's about time party leaders bring the race to a conclusion.
"We've got five more months to go before the Democratic convention at the end of August and, candidly, we cannot go five more months with the kind of daily sniping that's going on and have a candidate emerge in that convention," said the Connecticut senator.
"Over the next couple of weeks, as we get into April, it seems to me then, that the national leadership of this party has to stand up and reach a conclusion," he added.
Pennsylvania, a state where Hillary Clinton is heavily favored, is slated to vote April 22; North Carolina and Indiana head to the polls two weeks later. It remains unclear which candidates have the edge in those states.
Dodd's comments come one day after Clinton indicated she planned to stay in the race through the remaining round of primary contests. The latest votes, South Dakota's and Montana's caucuses, fall on June 3.
"I think the elections that are yet to come deserve to be held because the people from Pennsylvania to Puerto Rico to all the others that are waiting in line deserve to be heard. And I think that's part of the good," Clinton said Wednesday. Former President Bill Clinton also reiterated that sentiment, saying Wednesday, “my family’s not big on quitting.”
But Dodd said Thursday allowing the race to continue indefinitely would be "irresponsible."
"Allowing this sort of to fester over the months of June, and July and August, I think, are irresponsible," he said. "I think you have to make a decision, and hopefully the candidates will respect it and people will rally behind a nominee that, I think, emerges from these contests over the next month."
Specifically, Dodd said leaders among the Congress, governors, and at the Democratic National Committee need to work together to forge a compromise.
"It seems to me you've got to have an issue here that transcends your favorite candidate and decide whether or not the best candidate we have to win this election, to bring our country together and to get behind that choice, instead of having this sort of drip on for the next five months. That is devastating in my view," he said."
- CNN Ticker Producer Alexander Mooney